Suppose East-West are playing by akgame



                                                 Two-Over-One                                by Eric Rodwell

                                                                                      WEST                  EAST
                                                Finishing the                         ♠ AK852               ♠ J3
                                                                                      ♥ KQ83                ♥ A J 10 9 6
                                                   Auction                            ♦ K6                  ♦ A542
                                                                                      ♣K3                   ♣ Q8
                                                                                        WEST                 EAST
                                            times, the partnership may be able            1♠                  2♥
                                            to agree on the trump suit with the           3♥                  4♥
                                            next bid, opener’s rebid. Sometimes          4NT                  5♥
                                            agreement will have to wait until             6♥                 Pass
                                            the fourth bid, responder’s rebid, or
                                                                                      Here West has a very strong hand
                                            even later in the auction.
                                                                                      with 18 high-card points. Notice that
                                               The sooner the partnership can         West still raises to only 3♥ over the
                                            agree, the better. Once a major suit
                                                                                      2♥ response when playing 2/1.
                                            fit has been found, all subsequent bids
                                                                                      There’s no need to jump and use up
                                            can focus on the appropriate level.
                                                                                      extra bidding room. Responder can’t
                                            WEST                    EAST
                                                                                      pass 3♥ because it’s below game.
How does the auction continue after a       ♠ A J 10 5 2           ♠ 83
                                            ♥ K83                  ♥ A Q 10 6 4         With no extra values, East simply
2/1 response? How can the partnership
determine if it belongs in slam? Eric       ♦ A64                  ♦ KQ52             goes to game. However, West has
Rodwell provides some answers.              ♣53                    ♣ Q8               enough extra strength to want to be
                                                  WEST                 EAST           in a slam, knowing East has at least
  This is part of a series of articles by                                             13 points. West bids Blackwood to
Eric on 2/1 game force. Eric is a world-          1♠                   2♥
                                                  3♥                                  check that the partnership isn’t
class player and theorist. Previous                                                   missing two aces. When East shows
articles in the series can be found at:     As with standard bidding methods,
                                            a 2♥ response over 1♠ promises a          two aces, West bids the slam.
                                            five-card or longer suit. So West         WEST                  EAST
                                            can agree on a trump suit by raising      ♠ AJ852               ♠ K3

      uppose East-West are playing
      two-over-one game force and           responder’s hearts. The decision on       ♥ J 10 3              ♥ KQ98762
      the auction begins this way:          WHERE has been made. Now the              ♦ A62                 ♦ KQ
                                            partnership can move on to the second     ♣Q3                   ♣ A8
  WEST NORTH EAST SOUTH                     decision, HOW HIGH.                         WEST                 EAST
    1♠     Pass     2♥                                                                    1♠                  2♥
                                            Focus on HOW HIGH
  Already the partnership knows the                                                       3♥                 4NT
contract will be played at either the       Most 2/1 auctions will end in game.           5♥                  6♥
game or slam level. The 2♥ response         However, the partnership can consider
                                                                                      This time it is East who has a lot of
is a marathon bid , forcing to at           a slam if either partner has a lot of
                                                                                      extra values. Once the fit is found,
least game. So the conversation can         extra strength, or both partners have
                                                                                      East launches right into Blackwood.
be relaxed and both players can             some extra strength.
                                                                                      West shows two aces, so East knows
concentrate on finding the best             WEST                  EAST
                                                                                      the partnership is missing only one
denomination — WHERE — without              ♠ A J 10 5 2          ♠ 83
                                            ♥ K83                 ♥ A Q 10 6 4        and confidently bids the small slam.
being worried about the auction
stopping below game.                        ♦ A64                 ♦ KQ52              WEST                  EAST
                                            ♣53                  ♣ Q8                 ♠ KJ852               ♠ A3
Focus on WHERE                                   WEST                EAST             ♥ AJ3                 ♥ K Q 10 9 8 5 4
In deciding WHERE to play, the first             1♠                    2♥             ♦ AQJ                 ♦ 62
choice is an eight-card or longer                3♥                    4♥             ♣J3                   ♣ KQ
major-suit fit. The next preference         East has no extra strength for the          WEST                 EAST
is notrump. The last choice is an           2/1 response, so once the fit has             1♠                  2♥
eight-card or longer minor-suit fit.        been found, East simply moves to              3♥                  3♠
  After a 2/1 response, both partners       4♥. West also has no extra values,            4♦                 4NT
have suggested a trump suit. At             so the partnership settles in a game.         5♥                  6♥
                                                     BETTER 6 BRIDGE
                                              VOL. 12, NO. 2        NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2007
  This time, both partners have          WEST                    EAST              WEST                   EAST
some extra strength. Once the trump      ♠ KJ852                 ♠ Q3              ♠ KJ852                ♠ 63
suit has been established, bids of       ♥ A843                 ♥ KQ92             ♥ A843                 ♥ K52
other suits are cuebids, showing         ♦ A63                  ♦ 542              ♦3                     ♦ AKQJ2
interest in slam and showing a control   ♣3                     ♣ A Q 10 2         ♣AQ3                  ♣ 752
— ace, king, singleton or void — in        WEST                  EAST                WEST                 EAST
the suit.                                    1♠                   2♣                   1♠                   2♦
  After West’s raise to 3♥, East shows       2♥                   3♥                   2♥                   3♣
some interest in slam by cuebidding          4♥                  Pass                 3NT                  Pass
the ♠A. West, who also has some
                                         This time the fit is found after          Similar to standard methods, the
extra values, cooperates by showing
                                         responder’s rebid. Notice responder       partnership can make use of ‘fourth
the ♦A. That’s enough to encourage
                                         initially bids clubs, not hearts. A 2/1   suit forcing’ — a totally artificial bid
East to bid Blackwood to check that
                                         response of 2♣ or 2♦ doesn’t promise      of the fourth suit — when nothing
the partnership isn’t missing two
                                         a five-card suit, but a response of       else is convenient. Here both players
aces and then bid the slam.
                                         2♥ shows at least a five-card suit.       show their suits on the first three bids.
  Auctions involving cuebidding          There’s no danger of missing a heart      East then has a dilemma. No eight-
can be challenging, but the real point   fit. Opener will always show a four-      card fit has been found, but East
is that the 2/1 game force has left      card heart suit over a 2♣ or 2♦           doesn’t want to suggest notrump with
plenty of room for the partnership       response. Opener doesn’t need five        no high cards in the club suit.
to decide HOW HIGH — game or             cards when showing a second suit.           A bid of the fourth suit, clubs, is
slam — once it knows WHERE.                After the heart fit is found, West      merely forcing, saying nothing about
  In summary:                            simply goes to game with nothing          East’s club holding. First, it’s unlikely
                                         extra. East is also comfortable to stop   the partnership has a club fit once
   After a 2/1 game forcing              in game holding no extra strength.        West has bid spades and hearts.
    response, focus first on                                                       Second, with strength in clubs, East
                                         WEST                   EAST
    WHERE, then HOW HIGH.                ♠ AJ852                ♠ 63               would probably bid notrump, as in
                                         ♥ A 10 9 3             ♥ J52              the prior example. So West assumes
More Practice                            ♦3                     ♦ K Q J 10 2       East simply wants West to make a
There are many ways the auction          ♣K73                   ♣ AQ4              further descriptive bid. With some
                                           WEST                  EAST              strength in clubs, it is easy for West
can go after a 2/1 response. Let’s
look at some examples. In this next          1♠                   2♦               to suggest 3NT. The partnership has
                                             2♥                  2NT               finally found WHERE it belongs.
auction, it’s not until the fifth bid
that the partnership agrees WHERE.          3NT                  Pass                With the help of fourth suit, the
                                                                                   partnership can sometimes discover
WEST                 EAST                When the partnership can’t find an
                                                                                   it has no stopper in a suit and
♠ A J 10 5 4 2       ♠3                  eight-card or longer major suit fit, it
                                                                                   scramble into a 5-2 major-suit fit.
♥3                   ♥ AKQ64             will usually settle for notrump.
                                                                                   WEST                   EAST
♦ Q4                 ♦ K2                Here West shows both major suits,
                                                                                   ♠ AQJ52                ♠ K3
♣A753                ♣ KQ962             and East suggests a notrump with          ♥ 10 6                 ♥ J2
                                         values in diamonds and clubs. West        ♦ KQ63                 ♦ 752
  WEST                EAST
                                         is happy to agree.                        ♣Q3                   ♣ AKJ752
    1♠                  2♥
    2♠                  3♣                 Notice that East doesn’t need to
                                         jump to 3NT on the rebid. East can          WEST                 EAST
    4♣                 4NT                                                             1♠                   2♣
                                         suggest notrump by bidding only
    5♥                  6♣                                                             2♦                   3♣
                                         2NT, since that is still forcing. This
After East’s 2/1 response, West          leaves room for West to further               3♥                   3♠
chooses to conveniently show the         describe the hand. If West held a             4♠                  Pass
sixth spade at the two level rather      fifth heart, for example, West could      After West bids spades and diamonds
than introduce the club suit at the      now bid 3♥, and the partnership           and East rebids clubs, this time it is
three level. There’s plenty of time;     would find its eight-card fit.            West, opener, who makes use of the
no need to waste space.                    In standard methods, East couldn’t      fourth suit, hearts. East can’t bid
  When East shows the second suit,       afford to bid only 2NT, since it          notrump and gives ‘preference’ to
West raises and the fit is found. East   would not be forcing. East would          spades. Also holding nothing in
has enough extra values to use           have to jump to 3NT, leaving West         hearts, West decides to bid 4♠. The
Blackwood and put the partnership        with a difficult decision when holding    defenders can take at least the first
in the small slam.                       five spades and five hearts.              five heart tricks against 3NT.
                                                   BETTER 7 BRIDGE
                                           VOL. 12, NO. 2        NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2007

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